This creamy version of Tom Yam Kung is hearty enough to serve as a stand-alone soup course or, as the Thais do it, a main course to be eaten with rice.
Note: kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and nam prik pao (chili jam) can be found at any Asian supermarket specializing in Southeast Asian ingredients.
- 2 cups low-sodium homemade or canned chicken or pork broth
- 6 to 7 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces and lightly bruised (see note)
- 7 to 8 slices lemongrass, approximately 1/8-inch thick (see note)
- 7 to 8 very thin slices fresh galangal (see note)
- 6 ounces fresh button or oyster mushrooms (or 1 1/2 cups well-drained canned straw mushrooms), cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons Nam Prik Pao (see note)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, or to taste
- 1/4 cup fish sauce, or to taste
- 4 to 5 fresh red bird’s eye chilies, crushed
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled with the head and tail sections intact
- 1 cup evaporated milk, whole milk, or half-n-half
- 1/4 cup lightly-packed cilantro leaves (or sawtooth coriander leaves, thinly sliced)
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a very gentle boil over medium heat. Adjust the temperature so that the liquid is barely simmering. Add the lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves to the broth; continue to monitor the temperature. Add the mushrooms and stir in the Nam Prik Pao. Add fish sauce, followed by crushed chilies.
As the broth is gently simmering, lower the shrimp into it. Turn up the heat a bit to keep the broth at a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp have firmed up slightly, about 1 minute. Add milk, cook until simmering, and remoce from heat. Season soup with lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Stir in cilantro leaves and serve.